May 8th, 2013 By Jason B. Nava
GREATEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD?
NOT GREATEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD?
The other thought comes from those who were so impressed with Floyd’s performance and are so flattered to watch an all time great that they run away with their excitement and call him the “Greatest of All Time.” Both of these opinions are exaggerations as the truth lies somewhere in the middle and is probably closer to the latter. Let me explain.
ANTI-FLOYD TYPES IN DENIAL?
Watching Mayweather box is a thing of beauty. He is one of the best counterpunchers to ever grace a boxing ring and throws a perfect right hand in a number of ways. Floyd’s ring generalship is second to none and his footwork is amazing. Furthermore, if he isn’t the best defensive fighter of all time he at least deserves to be in the conversation along with Willie Pep and Pernell Whitaker.
DO PEOPLE DISTORT TRUTH ABOUT FLOYD?
The Las Vegas resident by way of Grand Rapids, MI has been unfairly been accused of fighting only bums. A closer looks tells us that he has a few future hall of fame types on his resume like Oscar De Hoya, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, and the late Arturo Gatti along with solid fighters such as Ricky Hatton, as well as deceased titleholders Diego Corrales, and Genaro Hernandez. The thing which makes these victories all the more astonishing is that he barely lost a round in the process.
GREATEST OF OUR TIME?
GREATEST OF ALL TIME?
When one compares this resume to the greats of the previous eras however, some light is shed on his career and all talk of him being the G.O.A.T or the greatest of all time must come to a screeching halt.
FLOYD “SECOND FIDDLE” TO FIGHTERS OF GREATEST ERA
As great as the 1996 Bronze medalist’s run has been since decisioning Oscar De la Hoya in 2007, it’s not as if he beat Wilfred Benitez, Roberto Duran, and Tommy Hearns in succession as “Sugar Ray” Leonard did during the early 1980s. Yes, Floyd has won titles in several divisions, but Henry Armstrong was the featherweight (126 lb.), lightweight (135) AND welterweight (147) champion… all at the same time! And keep in mind that he won all of these titles within a ten month span. By the way Armstrong is the same guy who once went 27-0 in one year with 26 KOs.
FLOYD CITES RECORD OF “BROWN BOMBER”
Mayweather once said he wanted to break Joe Louis’ record of 25 title defenses. He never came close to doing that. People often make much of Mayweather’s undefeated record and admittedly 44-0 is quite impressive. Truth be told, Julio Cesar Chavez was 87-0 before suffering his first loss and Carlos Zarate was 52-0 before succumbing to Wilfredo Gomez. In fact “Sugar Ray” Robinson (who Mayweather doesn’t come close to in terms of greatness) lost his 41st professional prizefight vs. Jake LaMotta. With a “tune up” in between, Ray avenged the loss three weeks later before embarking on a 91 fight winning streak.
GREATNESS COMES BY BEATING GREATS
Often, great boxers have other great fighters around to cement their legacies. Think Muhammad Ali- Joe Frazier, Ray Leonard-Tommy Hearns, while Aaron Pryor had Alexis Arguello. Mayweather missed out on this opportunity by failing to meet Kostya Tsyzu AND Manny Pacquiao in the ring. Whether you believe he was responsible for the failure of these fights coming to fruition or not, or whether you believe he would have won them or not, is irrelevant. The fact is that this has left a void in his legacy.
CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH?
Those who say Mayweather isn’t a great boxer do not understand boxing and those who say he is the greatest of all time do not understand boxing history. Saying he isn’t the greatest of all time isn’t a discredit to Floyd in any way. Instead it is a testament to the richness of boxing’s history.
Jason B. Nava